Hospital services for children and young people

Coming to hospital, whether planned or in an emergency, can be difficult.  

This article covers information about local hospital services, so that parents and carers can plan for their child’s care as much as possible. 

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 How hospital services are delivered in South Gloucestershire 

 There are two general types of hospital in the United Kingdom: 

  • National Health Service (NHS) hospitals which are funded by the government and provide free services to the public.  

  • Independent hospitals run by private companies or charities, which usually charge for services. 

You will usually need a GP referral to access hospital treatment, except in an emergency. 

Hospital services are normally delivered by local ‘trusts’. A trust is an organisational unit within the National Health Service (NHS).  

In South Gloucestershire, there are two trusts; University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. and North Bristol Trust (NBT).  

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust), operates the following hospital services in the local area:  

University Hospitals Bristol’s website contains further information about all of these, including how to find and contact them, and what facilities are offered.  

North Bristol Trust (NBT), operates the following hospital services: 

The North Bristol Trust’s website contains more information about these hospitals and the services and facilities provided at each.  

The NHS website has further information about hospital services.  

Accident and emergency departments 

Accident and emergency departments, also known as A&E or the emergency department deal with genuine life-threatening emergencies.  The most seriously ill patients will be seen before those with less urgent conditions. 

If you attend with a minor injury or illness, you may have to wait a long time for treatment.  You might also be redirected, for example, to a GP, walk-in centre or a minor injuries unit (see below). 

Southmead Hospital’s accident and emergency department is available for anyone over the age of 16.  Children under the age of 16 will need to go to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Minor Injury Units (MIUs) 

Minor injuries units (MIUs) are there to help with injuries that need attention urgently, but are not critical or life-threatening.  You can drop in with no appointment necessary. 

In a life-threatening emergency, go to the nearest suitable emergency department or call 999

Minor injuries can be:  

  • sprains 

  • strains 

  • cuts and grazes 

  • arm, foot and leg injuries 

  • bites 

  • minor burns and scalds,  

  • broken bones 

  • minor head injuries 

Yate Minor Injury Unit (MIU) – offers treatment for adults and children for a wide range of minor injuries in the South Gloucestershire area. Open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, including bank holidays.   

Telephone and online service - NHS 111 

NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you are not sure what to do, either online or by phone. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can either: 

  • go to (for people aged 5 and over only) 

  • call 111 

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can: 

You will be asked a number of questions about your symptoms on the website, or by speaking to a fully trained adviser on the phone.  You can ask for a translator if you need one. 

Depending on the situation you will: 

  • find out which local service can help you 

  • be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP 

  • get a face-to-face appointment if you need one 

  • be told how to get any medicine you need 

  • get self-care advice 

Patient and Family Support Services   

These services help you and your child feel more comfortable while in or attending in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.   

Their LIAISE team gives advice, information and support, they also have a specific learning disability team. If your child has a disability please ready our article on Support for children with SEND in hospital.  

The trust’s website has more information on patient and family support services.  

If you have a concern or complaint with any of the above services please contact the patient support and complaints team on 0117 3421050 or online